In the cockpit and at the controls

The Federal Aviation Administration's Capstone program will equip 150 aircraft

used in passenger, mail or freight operations with an avionics package designed

to improve pilots' situational awareness by putting weather, terrain and

traffic information in the cockpit for the first time. Essentially, pilots

will have access to the same information in the cockpit that air traffic

controllers have on the ground.

The FAA is installing the automated weather observation system at 10

village airports in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region of southwest Alaska.

The system will provide Global Positioning System information to allow pilots

to perform safer approaches.

The avionics package consists of:

* A GPS navigation receiver that provides positioning and timing information.

* A two-way digital data link system that operates in Universal Access

Transceiver mode to deliver weather, position and air traffic information.

* A multifunction color computer display with traffic and terrain advisories.

The avionics equipment provides:

* A GPS-based digital terrain database of Alaska on a quarter-mile grid

accurate to about 100 feet of elevation.

* An Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) that relays

aircraft position, altitude, vector and other information to the air traffic

control center.

* Flight Information Services that provide an aircraft with current

and forecasted weather and weather-related information as well as the status

of special-use airspace.

* Traffic Information System-Broadcast that provides aircraft position

reports from other aircraft that are ADS-B-equipped.

* Charts for visual flight rules and instrument flight rules.

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